Whether you’re a consumer brand, or focus on enterprise technology, social media is an important channel. Another aspect of social media, is that you must not only engage but also engage consistently.

Startups with limited resources should really pick one platform to start with – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or another – and focus your efforts on that. Make sure you understand the channel and how best to engage your audience there.

Being able to effectively leverage your social community is important to a growing brand and startups need to take advantage of these channels. To help, we put together a list of things startups should do, which are not commonly shared by social media experts.

We explore emerging social media trends in Southeast Asia

Build relations, do not lecture

We all know that you are the expert on these topics, but no one likes to be lectured, especially on social media. Let’s not forget that the primary goal of social media is to build relationships and add value. Often brands do a great job in creating content and pushing it out, but fail at engaging their audiences.

Let people see what you think it is really cool and then do not feel the need to give them a lecture every single time. Encourage and respond to comments. Make sure to proactively engage communities online and join discussions outside of your own platforms. Become part of the community rather than an outsider looking inwards.

Let your content tell a story, not showcase your editing skill

flat screen TV turn on inside room

Overproduced and pretentious content tends to turn people off on most social media channels. As a brand you need so much content that requires a lot of time and investment, so trying to create extremely expensive-looking content might not be worth the effort. Honestly, most people don’t care.

Most of your community, want to get to know you and your brand. In some way, experience your day with you and relate to you. Therefore, focus on telling them the story of your brand and do not spend too much polishing your content.

There are great free editors that are quick and do the job, like Lumen5 and how it converts your web link to a video.

Selling should be your sole focus

No one has ever followed a social media account thinking how awesome it would be to be bombarded with ads and aggressive call-to-actions to make that purchase. Do not be that brand.

Follow your industry and own brand

Keep in mind that everyone else has access to the same channels you do, so make sure to frequent the groups, feeds, and pages that are relevant to your industry. Make sure you search for posts that mention your company, and take the opportunity to respond to comments and complaints. This allows you to engage, build trust, grow your brand, and in some cases, collect market research.

You need to commit your time

Opening a social media account usually costs nothing, and posting is free. It can and usually is, a free-to-run channel that allows you to create a community.

To really leverage this opportunity, you need to invest time and as an entrepreneur, you should spend time every single day, focused on building your brand’s image on social media. There is no secret sauce other than working hard and putting effort into it.

Don’t forget about sound

boy singing on microphone with pop filter

Last, but not least, is specifically for those that invest in video and audio content. Production quality aside and let’s not discuss the megapixel count of your latest digital camera – can everyone please invest in a decent mic.

These do not cost millions, but as someone who listens to podcasts and YouTube videos for sound, a great mic really helps you engage your audience and be clear and easily understood. Make that small investment people.